Velvet poppies

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We’ve been experimenting with handmade velvet poppies using the simple honeycomb smocking technique. It’s not at all difficult, but it’s a little longwinded to explain, so if you would like to learn this technique, take a squiz at this excellent video here, which explains all.

Smocking dots. Click to enlarge.

Smocking, by the way, is often thought of as old-fashioned, but it’s definitely making a comeback, helped along by TV shows such as Project Runway.

For this project, we drew four rows of smoking dots (32 dots per row for our unopened poppy and 40 dots per rot for the open poppy), 1cm apart, in the centre of our fabric.

Follow the video tutorial, working in black stranded cotton (we used 2 strands).

Once you have completed your smocking, cut one side of the fabric (parallel to the row of smocking) to within 1.5cm of the smocking.

Honeycomb smocking. Click to enlarge.

On the other side, cut out four petal shapes.

Using red sewing thread, machine or hand-sew a running stitch on the shorter edge (the centre of flower) of the fabric and pull to gather.

Once gathered, stitch the sides together to form a flat circle (open poppy) or half open poppy.

Cut a circle out of black felt for the centre of the poppy and hand-sew in place.

Our finished poppies measure 19cm across (full circle). To make a smaller poppy, try smocking just two rows instead of four.

Honeycomb smocking technique tutorial

Smocking for unopened poppy. Click to enlarge.

To display your poppies you can attach faux flower stems to the centre of the flowers. We used old faux flowers and removed the existing flowers.

Alternatively, you can attach clips to the back of your flowers to make brooches, or use the poppies to adorn gift boxes, or bags.

Happy smocking!

Exquisite paper poppy tutorial.

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